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GETTING ACADEMIC TAAQ opens up a new space for musicians
GETTING ACADEMIC TAAQ opens up a new space for musicians

Thermal And A Quarter goes deeper into music, creating a space for bands to jam, and youngsters to learn the ropes

Bangalore-based rock band Thermal And A Quarter (TAAQ) is now well-known across both the country and many parts of the world, and have been playing for nearly 15 years. While they started out as a garage band, they now run their own organisation — TAAQADEMY and own a space that has two fully equipped jam-rooms. The new jam-room has been built keeping in mind the fact that there are hardly any spaces in Bangalore for bands to rehearse and sample their own music professionally.

“When we started playing, we just plugged everything into a Sony Hi-Fi music system, and played. We neither used quality cables or equipment nor did we appreciate their value . Good sound quality makes such a big difference. A professional band rehearsing in somebody's bedroom is unheard of anywhere else in the world,” said Rajeev Rajagopal, drummer for TAAQ and one of the directors of TAAQADEMY.

Affordable jam

TAAQADEMY offers musicians, particularly bands, an accessible and affordable space to learn, jam and create music. It costs Rs. 500 per hour for a five-person band, and Rs. 100 more per head to jam.

“While it isn't exactly cheap, it's easily affordable for most bands. Anyway it's the only place in the city to jam,” said Guru Somayaji, drummer of the band Parachute XVI. “It's impossible to drum anywhere but here, without disturbing somebody,” he added.

Emphasising the bands' “finicky” choice of equipment, the 300 square foot sound-proof rehearsal studio is fully equipped and completely air-conditioned with power backup and can record live drums. It's one of the few places inside the city where one can play music without worrying about gear, annoyed neighbours who call the cops, or screaming parents. The space is also used to conduct music classes.

Most music classes in the city focus on teaching students the technical aspects of playing an instrument, and test them after. TAAQ, on the other hand, wants to show people what it takes to play in a band, and their classes will even look into song writing and making music in collaborative environments.

For example, Bruce Lee Mani, who's the guitarist and does vocals for TAAQ, recently conducted a workshop on maintaining a guitar. This summer, they introduce drum and guitar lessons where they will give particular importance to creativity. Rajeev said, “We don't take on huge classes, it just becomes a tamasha. The larger the group, the more inhibited they become. We like to work with five to 15 people at a time.”

TAAQADEMY also offers workshops for corporates. These packages use music as a tool to bolster team integrity and interpersonal interactions. In one of their workshops, a team of inhibited professionals were asked to enact several freeze frames, reacting to the music the band played. This helps individuals open up and become more perceptive of their surroundings. TAAQ have been holding workshops like this for a few years now, and plan to expand.

For details about guitar and drum classes, jam room rentals, music workshops or recording facilities, call Divya Joseph at 9980797014

AVINASH KUDUVALLI

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